The Patriotic Muslim Front (PMF) has demanded a reduction of Hajj fees by 50%.
The youth-led group described as “insensitive” the 100% upward review of Hajj fees set by the Hajj Board for this year’s pilgrimage to Mecca.
Speaking at a Press Conference in Accra, the president of the PMF, Haruna Mohammed the Hajj fees must be reduced considering the current economic conditions we are faced with.
“Considering the sub-region and how much they are paying, the amount they are paying is relatively lower and it is wavering around GHc30. So for us, reasonably, to make it 100% is way way too bad,”
“We will recommend that in any case considering the fact that things have gone up in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we suggest that they make it at least 50%,” he appealed.
He said after the new Hajj fees were announced on June 6, “we in the PMF, after engaging a lot of prospective Pilgrims, are minded to question this year’s fares and the contemptuous breach of the contract that subsists between the Board and Hajj agents.”
He also alleged that “pilgrims who agreed to leave their monies with the board since 2020 conditioned on the agreement duly signed on their behalf by their agents, have also been asked to top up GHc7,000.”
The new fees he noted were “a clear breach of paragraph three (3) of the agreement signed on June 20, 2021.”
He said the group “demand item by item breakdown of the cost build-up that necessitated the upward adjustment.”
“It will interest you to know that many of the components that inform the cost structure including transportation remain largely unchanged. We acknowledge the fact that Value Added Tax (VAT) went up relatively marginally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
“This development, however, cannot be a justifiable grounding for the 100% increase in Hajj cost. Brothers and sisters, it cannot be again said that some of the key defining features of a Muslim are righteousness and the advancement of the course of Islam,” he concluded.